Wisconsin April 05, 2019
This Small Mexican Restaurant In Wisconsin Serves More Than A Dozen Types Of Tacos
Tacos are the perfect little vehicle for all kinds of fabulous flavors. A good taco is just a few bites and it’s chock full of flavor and in the right hands, it can be an amazing opportunity for innovation. At Vintage Cantina in Green Bay, you’ll find plenty of traditional takes on a standard taco, but you’ll also find a ton of outside-the-box flavors that lead to one of the most unique taco experiences in the state. With more than a dozen options on the printed menu and always at least one or two more that represent whatever the chef fancied that day, you’d be hard pressed to get bored with the truly stellar food at Vintage Cantina.
The funky location was once a coffee shop, so it's a narrow space that goes straight back and is dominated by a bright bar. Drinks here are as interesting and off-the-wall as the tacos. Try a coconut margarita that's got actual coconut meat and rum, or have some traditional Mexican beer or soda. Seats are at metal high tops or at the bar and I wouldn't suggest trying to squeeze in here with a big group.
At Vintage, this simple three-bite street food has been elevated to an art. It's both the simplest of menus and the most complex combination of flavors all in one spot. They have latched on to one thing and they do it as well as you'll find anywhere. For the purists, you'll find things like al pastor or what most would consider a regular taco, but both are elevated to be even better than they might in other hands.
The Pastro is available after 4 pm because it's made with a pineapple marinated pork that needs time to sit. The result is a delicious and unique take on a Mexican taqueria staple, served up with cilantro and onion. It's unlike any pastor taco you've ever had, but it's chock full of flavor and the perfect marriage of sweet and savory.
Nothing here is ever too simple. What would be the standard taco at most places is called the Guero here and comes with a beef/pork mix, shredded napa cabbage, and the standard cheese and tomato topped with a cilantro sour cream.
The menu has plenty of tacos and flavors you know and love; it just gives them a little kick to keep them from getting too boring or commonplace. It's a smart and stellar take on the simple taco that everyone knows and loves.
The pollo asada is kicked up with a giardiniera and horseradish. The Baja fish taco gets some charred corn to add another dimension of flavor. The carnita taco has serrano pickled clementines. It's never boring and always amazing.
But where Vintage really shines is when they think outside the box. Whether it's a croque monsieur or the pictured poutine taco, these guys love taking something you'd never imagine going on a tortilla and making it taste amazing. There's nothing more soul-sucking for a chef than to make the same plate day
in and day out. Chefs love food and to love food is to want to play with it. At Vintage, they play with food to create the most off-the-wall, but still amazing tacos you've never even imagined.
They call this weekly spin on the standard the WTF - the weekly taco feature. The website calls them "highly experimental" and the description fits. If a food exists, odds are these folks have thought about what it might taste like on a taco. You better believe they had a corned beef and mashed potato taco around St. Patrick's Day.
You'll find a monthly version of a cheeseburger taco, with an ever-changing group of "condiments" to accompany it. And they're not messing around, with Sweet Grass Farms grass-fed beef, local cheese and house-made sauces. There's just really no limit to the creativity and flavor this kitchen can produce.
This isn't a taco spot for those who order the same thing every time they go out. To go to Vintage is to know that you're going to have a hard time choosing just two or three tacos and already start planning when you can go back to try more. It's the very best in fresh food, engaged chefs and the desire to never be stagnant or predictable.
Though the tacos tend to be the star of the show, there's plenty else on the menu to pique your interest. The street corn is off the cob and in a cup and incredibly flavorful. There's a chorizo cheese dip as well as one with crab, shrimp and pickled jalapeno.
Vintage Cantina is located at 119 S Washington St., Green Bay, WI 54301. You can see their menu on
their website and you’ll find all kinds of interesting limited-time tacos advertised on their Facebook page.
If you love tacos, you have to check out the Wisconsin taco trail, which takes you to all kinds of delicious restaurants.